Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats LLC.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 5, 2018
Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122
Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)
Here’s Your Forecast for 2018 AWWS Season Opener:
Frigid Weather, Hot Jigging Bite, At Green Bay Sunday
Are you ready for some walleye, Fan Nation? It starts here, and it starts, now, as a full field of 100 boats takes to the 40-degree waters of inner Green Bay and the lower Fox River Sunday for the AIM Weekend Walleye Series Nitro Boats Open, the official start of the run for the AIM Weekend Walleye Series Wisconsin Division championship.
Teams may want to throw in a snow shovel and their snuggies along with their tackle, however.
“We’re almost as pumped as the 200 anglers are to get this party started,” said AIM Weekend Walleye Series National Tournament Director Denny Fox. “The field filled in 13 days from the day registration opened, and there are players from six different states who will be launching Sunday.
“But you know April here in Packer Country. There’s an 11- to 15-inch dump of snow predicted for mid-week, and there’s a chance of rain and snow for game day with temps in the 40s, but the fish are there,” Fox added.
The fish are also hungry when the water’s warm enough to get them active. That’s the word from last year’s winners here. Tyler Mueller, from nearby Appleton, who with boatmate Matt Kotkosky from even-nearer-to-the-start Little Chute, will be waiting for the “Go!” to power up their Mercury-equipped boat Sunday.
That win in 2017 helped them finish in second place in the Wisconsin Division Yamaha Motor Corp. Team Of The Year race in 2017. Winners will again earn a new 9.9 Yamaha four-stroke kicker in each division this season.
Mueller tested the waters on Good Friday, and is predicting a mid-morning to afternoon bite as fish wake up and get active with a hoped-for spike in water temps.
“There are some fish spawning right now, but I don’t see that being a big factor. The water temperature there was 42, but with the colder nights and snow predicted, I’m sure that’s going to drop,” Mueller said.
“When the water warms, the fish hit well, so if I had to guess, the best bite will be mid-morning to later. The jigging bite will be a factor, but I’m not going to count out the trolling bite, either. It will have to be a slower presentation,” Mueller added. “We’re hoping for that repeat win. It may be tough, but anything can happen.”
Ryan Foster of Kaukauna, Wisconsin, and Teammate Jeff Nuechterlein, of Greenville, both also living near the tourney launch, are also hoping for a repeat. They earned Wisconsin Division 2017 season Yamaha Motor Corp. Team Of The Year (TOY) honors, and hope to hang another of those Yamaha 9.9 four-stroke kickers in the garage to make matched set by starting off this one with a win. Foster, who operates Crazy Eyes Guide Service on Lake Winnebago and Green Bay, has found fish, and warmer water.
The only issues are, how much will the mid-week storm affect both the water clarity and temperature in Fox River up to the Wisconsin DNR’s upstream limit, below the dam at De Pere, a few casts from the town of Green Bay.
“Well, it wouldn’t be tournament season if Mother Nature wasn’t throwing something at us,” Foster joked.
“Honestly, the bite is good right now and will continue to get better. We’ll get some current from the storm, but the key factor will be how much,” Foster added. The water is about 45 degrees right now and guys have caught some spawned out females already, and more fish are coming in and starting to leave, so there will be an abundance of females and males in the system for the next two weeks.”
Like Mueller, Foster is expecting a big jig bite. How big all depends on water clarity, and that again, depends on the midweek storm. That break between Tuesday and Sunday will hopefully settle things down again, and still provide a good river current to keep the fish looking for food, and bring in more pre-spawners, he said. The team with the most weight skips town with $8,000 Sunday, and the early lead in TOY standings.
“But it depends if the water gets dirty. You might have to go to other baits that give off a lot of vibrations. If not, there’s a lot of really good sticks who will be out there that have tricks up their sleeves to catch some really nice fish,” Foster added.
“The fish are ready to spawn, but with more cold weather, it will cool them off a bit. Post-spawn fish will be looking to grab a bite to eat and head back into the bay,” he said. That combo of fish heading out of and others entering the river, brought in by more current from the mid-week weather, means potentially big bags. That is, if the river clarity doesn’t hit chocolate milk-status.
He’s also happy with the tournament’s full field. “It’s amazing how fast it filled. People are switching over to the AIM format because you can fish any body of water anytime since we’re not keeping any fish. It’s great to see them all onboard.”
He’s also looking forward to defending the team’s TOY title and shoot for a twofer, starting on the Fox. “We’ll do our best. It’s not been done before, and we want to be the first team to accomplish that.”
The name of that tune will be known starting at 5 p.m. Sunday at the awards ceremony, which also is the launch location, the Green Bay Metro Boat Launch, 102 Bay Beach Rd.
Entrants will meet for registration at 5 p.m. Saturday at the D2 Sports Pub, 788 Armed Forces Dr., in neighboring Ashwaubenon. The rules meeting will follow at 7 p.m.
Sunday’s launch begins with boat inspections at 5:30 a.m. at the launch. The first 50-boat wave gets the green light at 7 a.m., with the second 50 leaving at 7:15. First wave boats must begin check in by 3 p.m., with the second at 3:15.
Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™) is a unique tournament organization created and owned by many of the most accomplished and recognizable professional walleye anglers, along with others who share the mission of advancing competitive walleye fishing and making it sustainable into the future. AIM is committed to marketing excellence on behalf of its tournament competitors, the tournament host communities, and the brands that partner with it. AIM is also committed to maintaining healthy fisheries across the nation by the development of the exclusive AIM Catch-Record-Release™ format which is integral to its dynamic events and unparalleled consumer engagement. For more information about AIM™, AIM Pro Walleye Series™, AIM Weekend Walleye Series, AIM sponsors and AIM anglers, visit www.aimfishing.com.
AIM Presenting Sponsors: Yamaha Motor Corporation U.S.A. and Warrior Boats, LLC.
AIM Supporting Sponsors: Mercury Marine, Nitro Boats, Garmin, Navionics, Power Pole, Worldwide Marine Insurance, AirWave Pedestals, Off Shore Tackle, Vibrations Tackle, Pro Chattrr, Gemini Sport Marketing, Treeland Resort, Anglers Avenue, Moonshine Lures Shiver Minnow, JT Outdoors Products, Fox River Lures and Rods